The decision on allowing private hire Vehicles (PHVs) to use Belfast bus lanes will be taken by the next roads minster, the Department for Infrastructure has said.
A 12-week trial allowing Class A taxis - those saloon private hire cars - ends on Sunday.
From Monday only black public hire taxis and wheelchair accessible taxis will be allowed to use the bus lanes, along with buses, cyclists and motorbikes as was the case in the past.
Officials are now collating the information gained over the past 12 weeks on how more vehicles in the bus lanes impacted travel.
There has been mixed views on the matter. But sustainable transport charity, Sustrans, have said allowing the private hire firms to use the lanes was "not a substitute for an efficient public transport system", plus cycling campaigners have also raised safety concerns of Bus Lane overcrowding.
A Private Hire lobby group fronted by Fona Cab owner William McCausland has been arguing for the trial to be made permanent saying it will cut journey times and fares for their customers.
The Department for Infrastructure said: "The Department will assess all the information gathered, including any views received, and present it to the next Minister after the election in order for a decision to be made on long term access for PHVs in bus lanes."
The public can >continue to have their say on the matter here<.
As we all know the Law Commision is trailing deregulation by stealth in Belfast. So if the new Minister takes note of Sustrans and the Cycle Lobby, it will be good news for Belfast public Taxi drivers, and also good news for London's Taxi drivers.
Source : Belfast Telegraph